I was standing at the service desk, talking to a guy called Brian. I had met Brian the week before at a soccer practice. I told them all I had just moved back to town, was looking for a soccer team and a job, if any of them knew of any openings anyway. Back then my brains were pretty much only good for zombie food – I used them that much. A high school and college dropout (although I did graduate from high school [just not when I was supposed to]), brains were as foreign to me as the country I know live in (Dubai, United Arab Emirates).
“The boss’s name is Terry, but you should know that already.” Brian started, trying to help me out.
“Yeah, I know that.”
I was about to interview for a position as a labourer in a steel warehouse. Not glamourous, but a job. And a job that would pay well too. I could afford my car, to find a place of my own, have money to spend out on the town, and plan weekends in advance because this was your typical Monday to Friday job. And, as far as I knew, it required very little grey matter and that suited me perfectly because I was about another decade away from realising I should actually use the brain I was given.
“Send him in.” I can hear Terry yelling from his office.
“Right. Good luck.” Brian smiled and shook my hand. “Nothing to worry about.”
As I turned to walk away he mentioned, “Just don’t stare at his glass eye too long.”
Glass eye? Which one? My head started asking so many questions. Will it be obvious? What if it is a different colour to the other one and impossible to ignore? What if you lost it in a knife fight and has a super cool scar running down the length of his face? Can he not wear an eye patch?
I enter his office and he motions for me to sit down at the desk across from him. He’s going over my CV, which is pretty much pointless to him as this is the first non-sales or service job I’ve ever had. Still, he’s professional. He leans over the desk towards me and there it is – one blue eye and one green eye. They cannot look any different. I’m 23 going on 12, and this is proving to be too much of a challenge.
His right eye, the blue one, flits to the side and I try and follow it. The left eye sits rigid in its socket, never leaving its focus on me. Did he just blink? I swear I saw him blink, but maybe I blinked.
“If you were to get the job, when could you start?” He looks at me, both eyes fixed on mine.
Am I smiling? Do I look troubled? Oh God, he knows I know and he knows I’m finding it difficult to keep this professional. I’m such a child.
“Tomorrow, sir. I could start tomorrow if necessary.”
“Listen. If I give you the job, don’t call me sir.” He laughed. “It’s Terry. We’re not formal here. No secretive goings on or things like that. Every Friday after work we all go around to the bar on the corner and have a beer to see in the weekend.”
“Okay, cool.” I shift uneasily at what should be a calming answer. Am I sweating? I feel like I’m sweating. Grow up, man. It’s only a glass eye.
He notices. “It’s heterochromia.”
“The eye. Heterochromia is what having two different coloured eyes is called.”
“Brian said you had a glass eye.”
“Yeah, they all like to say it. Most people don’t know this is actually a thing. But I assure, if you poked either of my eyes it would hurt. Want to try?”
“No! But stop worrying about hurting my feelings and let’s actually sit down and finish this interview properly.”
I sat across the desk from him and finished the interview, even looking him in the eyes when I shook his hand when he gave me the job.
On my way home I was pleased with how it all went. Not too bad, I thought to myself. Handled that quite well.